Fast Food TV

TV Review: United States of Bacon

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New Discovery-network TV series “United States of Bacon” started its life as the three-part series “United States of Food” in mid-2012 that saw “family man, chef and bacon loving American” Todd Fisher travel across the USA looking for the best and most innovative bacon, burger and steak menus. Now, in celebration of the fact that 53% of American homes keep bacon in their fridge at all times, Todd is travelling to twelve cities looking for the ultimate bacon experiences. The tone and content of the show is nicely summed up in this quote from its press release:

“From thick cut and juicy to thin and crispy, this series covers every form of bacon under the sun,” said Marc Etkind, SVP of Content Strategy for Destination America. “It’s no wonder bacon is in high demand – just watching United States of Bacon induces hunger pangs of epic proportions – but whether or not Americans feel the effects of an ‘aporkalypse’ bacon shortage, it certainly won’t be in short supply on Destination America.”

I see some familiar names in the production credits, and yes this is Man vs Food with a focus on bacon. Host Todd Fisher is a big man who obviously loves his food, and you get the feeling he eats like this every day. I don’t expect to see his weight go up and down through the season like Adam Richman’s did! We’ll see if he lives to make season two…

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Three episodes have aired so far, with the first set in Milwaukee. The key meal here is the Barrie Burger from AJ Bombers that includes beef, cheese, bacon and peanut butter. We also see some rather incredible looking deep fried bacon wrapped pork wings and some bacon wrapped meatloaf.

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Episode two takes us to Chicago, and first we see a rather tasty looking multi-level grilled cheese sandwich with two types of bacon. Next up it’s hot dogs prepared in a strictly traditional sense, then bacon-ed up by Todd in the form of the bacon turtle burger (see above) with three hotdogs, two hamburgers and ten strips of bacon. Bun, anyone? The final dish is a 10-pound (4.5 kg) Chicago deep-dish pizza with, well, simply that much meat. I must admit, it did look damn tasty.

In episode three, Todd makes his way to San Francisco and chomps his way through a massive 7″ (18cm) tall burger that includes two layers of thick-cut bacon; he even stops for a close-up shot of dripping bacon fat about half way up. He then feels the need to “create” chicken fried bacon, which looks rather unnecessary and at that point I began to wonder how extreme he’s going to get. Todd washes this down with some traditional barbecue brisket “burnt ends” – oh, of course each one is wrapped in 7 strips of bacon.

I absolutely loved Man vs Food, and this is just as entertaining. I know that there will be lots of complaints about the content and style of this show, but if you love your bacon and like to drool over meals big enough to feed a family for a week then you can’t go past this. It’s certainly much better than Adam Richman’s rather disappointing “Best Sandwich in America”.

I’m not sure when or where this show will air in Australia – if you simply can’t wait (and who can wait for bacon?), just keep your eye out for it in the places where you get you regular TV fix.

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